During the first couple weeks in MYP 5 Health and Physical Education, students began learning the key concepts and skills to be covered in Unit 1: Growing Through the Ups and Downs of Adolescent Health. In this initial unit, students will explore various aspects of adolescent health and consider the unique developmental challenges adolescence may present to their personal wellness. While analyzing their developmental and environmental challenges, they will begin learning various self-care strategies for maintaining personal wellness and minimizing the negative effects of these anticipated challenges. The major focus for this MYP unit can be summarized by the Unit 1 Statement of Inquiry: “Healthier lifestyle choices are necessary for developing a balanced approach to self-care, which improves energy and overall quality of life.”
In the initial lessons of our unit, students have learned that health isn’t merely the absence of physical illness or injury, but also the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of physical, psychological, and social challenges. They have learned how there are actually several dimensions of health which all equally contribute to their personal wellness, which include their physical, mental, emotional, social, and environmental health.
For one of their first learning experiences in Health class, students were asked to create visual representations of what they believed to be the five most challenging aspects of being an adolescent. After presenting and explaining their ideas, students learned what developmental health experts believe to be the defining characteristics or challenges of adolescence: significant growth and development, undefined status, increased decision-making, increased pressures, and search for self. By identifying potential/current challenges to their personal wellness, students begin their path towards the Unit 1 summative assessment for MYP 5 Health: creating and presenting a comprehensive self-care action plan that includes self-selected self-care strategies they can use during school, after school, and on weekends and holidays.
In MYP 5 Physical Education, students will focus on one self-care strategy in particular: yoga. Yoga is not just about physical strength and flexibility but also an effective self-care practice for reducing the negative effects of stress. One of the highlights of this first unit in PE is a creative project where students will craft their own 10-pose yoga sequence. This project resonates with the unit’s emphasis on nurturing a balanced approach to self-care. Students will tailor their sequences to address specific fitness-related goals, such as strength, balance, or flexibility, enhancing their sense of energy and overall wellness.